“The Year of Our Awakening”: Global Protests Mark Anniversary of Women’s March and Trump Inauguration

Hundreds of thousands of women took to the streets across the country this weekend to mark the first anniversary of last year’s historic Women’s March protesting President Trump’s inauguration. As Democracy Now! broadcast from the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, protesters braved freezing temperatures and a snowstorm to take part in a Respect Rally. We feature the voices of longtime women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred and actress Jane Fonda, and speak with actress Tessa Thompson, who played the superhero Valkyrie in the film Thor, Samantha “Sam” White in Dear White People and Diane Nash in Selma.

TRANSCRIPT

AMY GOODMAN: Hundreds of thousands of women took to the streets across the country Saturday to mark the first anniversary of last year’s historic Women’s March protesting President Trump’s inauguration. In New York City, authorities estimated over 200,000 people marched. Protests were also held in Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles and hundreds of other cities and towns. Here in Park City, Utah, protesters braved freezing temperatures and a snow storm Saturday to take part in the Respect Rally. Speakers included the longtime women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred.

GLORIA ALLRED: Snow, freezing rain, to stand up. And why have we come here today? We have come here for respect for women, for equal rights for all of our daughters, for our mothers, our sisters and our aunts. This entire year has been the winter of our discontent. But it has also been the year of our awakening. And awake we are, to the lack of respect and the denial of our rights for women. Do you agree?

AUDIENCE: Yes!

GLORIA ALLRED: This marks the end of fear being used as a weapon to silence women and to deny our rights. Do you agree?

AUDIENCE: Yes!

GLORIA ALLRED: This is the year that women’s voices have been heard, the year when women broke our silence about the injustices we have suffered, and the year when we said to rich, powerful, famous men, “You can break our hearts, but you cannot break our spirits!”

We will not be silenced. We have reached the breaking point. We have reached the tipping point. We demand respect for our daughters, our granddaughters, our mothers, our sisters, our lesbian sisters, gay men, transgenders and all minorities. We demand our rights! We demand the right to be free of sexual assault, rape and abuse. Say after me: RIPE — resist, insist, persist, elect. Now, resist!

AUDIENCE: Resist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Persist!

AUDIENCE: Persist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Insist!

AUDIENCE: Insist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Elect!

AUDIENCE: Elect!

GLORIA ALLRED: We demand the right to control our bodies and our lives. Resist!

AUDIENCE: Resist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Insist!

AUDIENCE: Insist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Persist!

AUDIENCE: Persist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Elect!

AUDIENCE: Elect!

GLORIA ALLRED: We demand the right to choose legal, safe and affordable abortions, and not have our lives placed at risk by illegal, unsafe abortions, which cause many of us to be mutilated and die, like I almost died when Roe v. Wade was not yet the law and abortions were illegal. Resist!

AUDIENCE: Resist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Insist!

AUDIENCE: Insist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Persist!

AUDIENCE: Persist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Elect!

AUDIENCE: Elect!

GLORIA ALLRED: We demand the right to have contraceptives when men are getting Viagra. Resist!

AUDIENCE: Resist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Insist!

AUDIENCE: Insist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Persist!

AUDIENCE: Persist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Elect!

AUDIENCE: Elect!

GLORIA ALLRED: We demand the end of sexual harassment and all violence against women and girls. Resist!

AUDIENCE: Resist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Persist!

AUDIENCE: Persist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Insist!

AUDIENCE: Insist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Elect!

AUDIENCE: Elect!

GLORIA ALLRED: We demand the enforcement of child support laws, so mothers can support their children and not be forced onto welfare and lives of poverty. Resist!

AUDIENCE: Resist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Insist!

AUDIENCE: Insist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Persist!

AUDIENCE: Persist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Elect!

AUDIENCE: Elect!

GLORIA ALLRED: We demand the end of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Resist!

AUDIENCE: Resist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Insist!

AUDIENCE: Insist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Persist!

AUDIENCE: Persist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Elect!

AUDIENCE: Elect!

GLORIA ALLRED: And we demand the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, that equality of rights shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Resist!

AUDIENCE: Resist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Persist!

AUDIENCE: Persist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Elect!

AUDIENCE: Elect!

GLORIA ALLRED: And don’t forget insist. Insist! And let me tell you, Utah, we have 36 states who have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, most recently Nevada. And now it is time for Utah. Resist!

AUDIENCE: Resist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Insist!

AUDIENCE: Insist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Persist!

AUDIENCE: Persist!

GLORIA ALLRED: Elect!

AUDIENCE: Elect!

GLORIA ALLRED: And give a hearing to the ERA in Utah. Yes, let’s hear it!

PHOEBE WALLER-BRIDGE: It’s my huge honor here to be introducing the unintroduceable, the formidable, Jane [bleep] Fonda!

JANE FONDA: Thank you for being here in the cold and in the snow. Yea, Sundancers! We’re still marching. We’re still protesting. But now we have to also organize!

Last September, 50 women took a bus from Los Angeles to San Diego to join hundreds of grassroots organizers who have been canvassing there to flip the 49th Congressional District. They went door to door and talked to people, some of whom were ardent, avid Trump fans. The women didn’t talk about a candidate. They never mentioned a Democratic or Republican party. They focused on issues, the issues that people at the door cared about. And by listening and giving people information that they had not heard before — because, you know, Fox News — they were able to change minds. And just a few days ago, the Republican from that district, Trump’s good pal Darrell Issa, retired! Yes! He was scared away by our organizing.

Listen to this. The tea party, with the Koch brothers, learned what works. They learned from the successes of the labor movement, the civil rights movement, the women’s and the LGBTQ movements. And they’ve been organizing under the radar for years. And that’s how they’ve taken over state legislators and county supervisors and governorships. And this is really important, because governors determine redistricting. So if we want to protect our voting rights, we have to take back governorships. Our democracy’s survival and the Earth’s survival depends on our ability to get people the facts, help them understand who is really on their side and they’re not alone, and then get them registered and motivated to vote.

AMY GOODMAN: Jane Fonda, speaking at the Respect Rally in Park City, Utah, Saturday, to mark the first anniversary of the historic 2017 Women’s March. Before that, the women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred.

During the rally, I also interviewed the actress Tessa Thompson, who you may know from her roles as the superhero in the film Thor or playing Samantha “Sam” White in Dear White People or performing as Diane Nash in Selma. I spoke to her just after she addressed the Respect Rally.

AMY GOODMAN: Hi. I’m Amy Goodman from Democracy Now!

TESSA THOMPSON: Hi. I know who you are.

AMY GOODMAN: Oh, my god! Well, I know who you are.

TESSA THOMPSON: Are you kidding? I know who you are.

AMY GOODMAN: So, your thoughts today, on this first anniversary of the inauguration of President Trump, but also the first anniversary of the massive women marches around the country?

TESSA THOMPSON: I mean, it’s — you know, it’s incredible to be here. I think that, you know, a lot of movement has happened since then, and, in many ways, not enough. I think until we can really create systemic change, in legislation, in policy, we’ll continue to march. And that was something that was echoed by Jane Fonda and Gloria Allred. Like, I think that’s where we are. And so, I was really spirited to hear particularly the words of Jane, helping us understand the ways in which it’s important to organize, because I feel like we’re in such a cultural moment sometimes that — particularly in this media space that we live in, where you can feel like retweeting or hashtagging is enough, and I think we really need to get to a place of understanding, and, you know, in a real way, with our friends and our family, what we can do, how we can really create change.

AMY GOODMAN: Tessa Thompson, you played Diane Nash in Selma.

TESSA THOMPSON: Yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about this civil rights leader and what — this kind of activism, from a half a century ago, if we’re seeing it expressed today.

TESSA THOMPSON: We’re seeing it expressed. The thing that was so incredible about Diane and every leader that I spoke to that’s still alive that could tell me about Diane — of course, I got to meet her, as well — is just how radical she was, you know, that she really felt like an important component of creating real change is tension, that she wasn’t afraid of it, to create it even with the people that she collaborated with. And that kind of bravery and real dedication to getting to the core of an idea, I think, is so fantastic, particularly in a political space. And so I was continuously struck by that. And she is that way still. I mean, she has such fierce integrity and really believes in America, so much that she can be quite critical. And that’s, I think, what we need.

AMY GOODMAN: And now you are a black woman superstar in Thor. Talk about your message to young women in the world.

TESSA THOMPSON: I think what’s really been incredible about that, obviously, the character Valkyrie has not historically been a woman of color, although she is — in the context of the comics, she is depicted as sometimes a bisexual, so she’s a queer woman. But it’s been incredible to see young women come up to me and say that it means so much to them because they can see themselves reflected in a film like that. And I think, for me, you know, when I first got the part, I couldn’t believe it. And I think a part of that is because I had not seen it before. And so, I think that’s where representation in media is really important. It’s important that when people are ingesting their popcorn, they’re also ingesting images that make them feel hopeful about their sense of possibility.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s actress Tessa Thompson at the Respect Rally on Saturday here in Park City. When we come back from break, we will look at RBG, a new documentary about the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who’s here in Park City, as well. Stay with us.